From Bonita Springs to Port Miami

Cruise From Port Miami 127/365 Things To Do

We live in paradise so it is hard to go places on vacation. One day it dawned on us that the ports for cruise ships were only a short drive away from Bonita Springs so we took the kids on extended weekend Carnival Cruise. I was able to find some last-minute deals on line and booked it.

We already had our passports so it was easy. If you do not have your passports or passport cards I suggest getting them before cruising. As another measure of security I got my kids a Florida State ID. Once your child is the age of 5 they are eligible to have a state ID. Just in case something happens this was just another form of identification. You do not have to do that.  I am ‘that mom’ that makes sure I have extra information.

We hopped in the car and took the 1-hour drive to across Alligator Alley  then another hour to get to the Port of Miami. It’s always depending upon traffic in Miami.  It’s definitely not the same as the west coast. We barely have fly overs in Fort Myers, let alone Estero or Naples. You can also cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale which is closer to SWFL. They port has parking for your car so you do not have to worry about getting to the port. They have security there 24/7.

Check in is just like herding cattle through all the lines and the turns.Showing your passports, State Id, and cruise printable tags and such for  your safety. It really doesn’t take that long.

Carnival Cruise Lines has something called “Camp Carnival” which is a program that the kids can participate in. They have many activities for the kids to do. It looked so fun that I wanted to be a part of it too. The kids had contests, crafts, games, dance parties, and so much more. At one point the kids wanted to be with fellow campers and not the adults.

We cruised from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas. We choose to take the day pass through Atlantis. We walked through the turtles, the sharks, aquarium, mall, casino, and any other part of the resort our passes would allow us. Next stop was Half Moon Cay which is Carnival’s private island. Now here, I may have gone a little over board. We rented a cabana that has unlimited snacks for the day. I was able to pick the cabana I wanted and I choose the one that was closest to the lunch place as well as the bathrooms. Included in the cabana rental was the snorkeling gear and floating mats. This is what the kids still talk about. It was relaxed, quality family time.

Our last stop was Grand Turk. Here we got off the ship and enjoyed some lunch and walked around a little. Aiden and I took a helicopter ride around the island and got to see shipwrecks and sharks. There was then 1 day at sea on our way back.

There are other companies that offer cruises from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa and more locations in Florida. If you live in Florida, especially Southwest Florida, you’re a one tank trip away from some of the easiest, low hassle vacations around.

Angela Griffith is a real estate agent in Bonita Springs, Florida.  She and her husband Jon, who is a Florida native, are raising two children in the Heitmans area of Bonita Springs.